Don’t feel badly if you haven’t heard of the Plymouth Plaza. The car was manufactured for only four years from 1954 to 1958.
Priced just under the Plymouth Savoy, it was the car company’s entry level automobile designed primarily for those who wanted to purchase a fleet of cars, not just a single automobile. The Plaza, like most models in its class in the 50s and 60s, saw most of its sales come from fleet buyers. Luxury and comfort were not the primary concern. The Plaza appealed to them because it had minimal trim, a limited number of option choices, and cloth and vinyl upholstery.
But that does not mean Plymouth disregarded performance or styling. The 1958 Plymouth Plaza two-door club sedan is evidence of this. It was a true six-passenger vehicle that was fun to drive. Under the hood, it had V8 power. The exterior had character and an appearance worthy of attention. Also, those who purchased fleets were not the only consumers of the Plaza. The model was available to private customers who, though budget-conscious, wanted the room of a full-sized automobile in addition to such amenities such as a V8 engine and automatic transmission.
Details of the Plaza
Customers had the option of purchasing the sedan, coupe and wagon variations. The most economical of Plymouth’s line, the Plaza came to be known as the company’s “Price Leader.”
In 1958, the Plaza offered consumers the widest choice of options at the time. For the first time in the manufacturer’s history, options that were normally reserved only for higher priced models were available for the Plaza. The least produced model was the Business Coupe. Only 1,472 were created. It differed from the regular two-door Club Sedan in only one way. The rear seat in the Business Coupe was an optional accessory.
The shape of the Plaza was iconic, especially when covered in a bright red paint job because the body style was so like the Fury – the actual car used in Stephen King’s Christine. In 1957, car fins were still very popular. The Plaza wore a comparatively big pair of them adding to the modern (at the time) design.
The Silver Special
The look of the Plymouth emblem on the fins was a feature of the limited edition “Silver Special” cars, which were based on the Plaza Club Sedan. The Silver Special flaunted a custom paint job with silver on the roof and in the Sportone accessories. This particular model also had a short, stainless steel spear that highlighted the fenders in the front and partially extended to the front doors. The finishing custom touch was on the rear fins. Instead of the traditional script that read “Plaza”, the Silver Special displayed “Forward Look” emblems.
The actual number of Plazas that bore the Silver Special trim package is unknown, but out of the 94,728 Plazas manufactured, the Silver Specials are thought to be very rare.
The model year of 1959 was the last for the Plaza. Plymouth discontinued the car as they demoted the Savoy down to its entry level model.